Artists transform vacant space in Civic

Left: ACT Minister for the Arts Tara Cheyne. Photo: CityNews Right: Opening launch event. Photo: Suzanne Knight
Wednesday 14 September 2022

CANBERRA’S vacant former elections office is set to be repurposed as a space for creativity through the City Renewal Authority’s Second Space program.

The role of the program – launched September 13 – is to test the viability of connecting vacant city spaces with local creatives for up to six months on a rent-free agreement.

The City Renewal Authority partnered with the Cultural Facilities Corporation, Australian National University (ANU) School of Art and Design, and Craft ACT to establish a space in Civic Square that “fosters curiosity and innovation”.

Arts Minister Tara Cheyne (pictured left) said the long-dormant former elections office will be reinvigorated as a studio space to host creative production, works of an international standard from ANU, and art installations and workshops through the DESIGN Canberra Festival.

“The simple act of turning on the lights can have the effect of changing the way spaces are perceived, creating a feeling of safety after hours, drawing people’s attention, dissuading anti-social behaviour and reducing CBD building vacancy,” said Cheyne.

“Works will focus on sharing world-class knowledge, cultural and creative development and production.”

Activator program

  • 12-18 Sept 2022: Natural Dying Machine – Rebecca Mayo – ANU

  • 19-30 Sept 2022: Ceramic 3D – Rod Bamford – ANU

  • 10-30 Oct 2022: Sculpture Weaving – Lucy Irvine ANU and DESIGN Canberra
  • 15 Oct - 15 Dec 2022: DESIGN Canberra Festival Hub – Craft ACT
  • 2-20 Nov 2022: Creative Kids Design Thinking – DESIGN Canberra and Craft ACT

    Learn more.


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Updated:  15 September 2022/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications